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Fareed Zakaria GPS

News/Business. Foreign affairs and policies shaping the world.

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Haiti 27, China 10, Obama 10, America 10, Ronald Reagan 6, Us 5, U.n. 5, United States 4, Cargill 4, Eisenhower 4, Massachusetts 4, Johnson 4, Lyndon Johnson 4, Barack Obama 3, Peggy 3, Fareed Zakaria 3, Gorbachev 3, U.s. 3, Virginia 3, Fareed 3,
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  CNN    Fareed Zakaria GPS    News/Business. Foreign affairs  
   and policies shaping the world.  

    January 24, 2010
    1:00 - 2:00pm EST  

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50 states we visited. we'll be here next sunday for the first word and the last word on sunday talk. until then, i'm john king in washington. please, take care. fareed zakaria "gps" starts right now. this is "gps" the global public square. welcome to our oviewers in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. we see barack obama from two lenses this week. on the one hand, he's the president, directing america's formidable right to help the ease in haiti. he is the head of the democratic party, the party that just suffered a major electoral loss. a lot of analysis of what went wrong for the democrats of whether the country is in ideological terms to the left or to the right and what all this means for obama's presidency. is he a lame duck? let's start with some historical
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perspective. obama's presidential ratings one year into his tenure are roughly the same as ronald reagan and bill clinton and jimmy carter's. the two bushes had higher ratings 41 because of the collapse of the soviet union and number 43 because of the rallying effect on the presidency. it is not much worse than his predecessors so it can be corrected. what should he do? obama needs to start acting like a president and, particularly, the president he campaigned to become. for the last six months, barack obama has seemed to be not a president, but a prime minister. he has not outlined a broad vision for the country and put forward grand plans to solve the nation's problems. instead, his white house has been busy slicing and dicing its programs to pick up a congressional vote here and there so utterly involved in the minutia of the legislative process that it has lost sight
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of the broader public. in the process of making legislation, which bismarck famous leader lost sight of his big ideas. the health care bill was riddled with so many gifts and give aways to special interests from the basic desire to avoid any hard decisions on raining in costs to the special exemptions to five states and to the fancy deal on cadillac plans that exempted the unions that few in america believed the resulting bill of truth could be called reform. barack obama campaigned as the man who would bridge the divides of right and left. reach out with ideas to red and blue america and create a united states of america. now, the republicans have been very obstructionist. they have played hard to get. but, certainly on health care, obama never really tried to make the compromises that might have gotten some key conservatives onboard. in a recent wall street journal
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poll, obama did all right on most categories of leadership. the public still admires him as a leader but his response call was in response to the question, has he changed the way washington works? see, america wants a president who at least tries to affect that change. that's the change we all want to believe in. now, i have a great program for you today on haiti some surprising insights from a great foreign policy thinker zbigniew brzezinski. then a great panel who have studied political movements. i told you what i think obama should do and we'll hear what they think. >> i think we live in a time of collapsed and collapsing institutions. >> i think at the end of the year is how monumental his aims have turned out to be. >> president obama built a
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movement to get himself elected but he didn't build one to govern. >> let's get started. the humanitarian crisis in haiti is still acute and i think we all agree, we must do everything we can to alleviate the immediate suffering and help those we can. but what about the future? we have all seen what happened in these tragedies, at first a massive outpouring of sympathy and aid once the immediate crisis has passed everybody goes home and things recur. what will the united states do but chooses to stay and rebuild haiti, it will be one more nation building project on an already packed nation building agenda iraq, afghanistan, yemen and now haiti. what is realistic? joining me now to talk about haiti and, of course, obama's first year in office, we have the scholar and statesman zbigniew brzezinski.
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big welcome to the show. >> good to be with you, fareed. >> first answer for me this problem of what we do beyond this immediate crisis in haiti. how should we think about this? at one level it is a terrible humanitarian crisis and at another level, let's be honest. a real national security problem compared to the larger ones. so how much attention, you know, should be devoted to it? >> well, i think it's quite clear that initially we have to make a maximum effort to help. and i feel a little frustrated by what seems to me to be a rather slow unfolding of the aid effort. ought to be a lot more energetic and somebody visibly in charge. we don't need high-level, grandstand visits to haiti by our foreign or domestic leaders, but we need some evidence of american direction of this effort. beyond that, i think we ought to have some arrangement involving
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the u.n., which perhaps could create some accommodation with the haitian government allowing for a form of transitional international for the recovery of haiti. this will take a very major international effort. the united states, of course, will have to take the lead in it in terms of putting resources into it, but i would think other countries, particularly latin american countries even central american countries ought to be heavily involved. >> the brazilians were the peacekeepers and what you are talking about, though, a kind of colonelism that we'll never call that because it is u.n. mandated and international rather than one country because the haitian government, as far as i can tell, has collapsed in ever sense of the word. it has collapsed physically and politically and, so, there is simply nothing there and that means you have to have some kind of, as i say, kind of colonelism
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that dare not speak its name. >> but, fareed, i would really take exception to the word colonelism because colonelism applied two things. first of all, colonel settlements and stuff of that and, secondly, imperialism, a prolonged foreign domination. transitional and international namely under the u.n. and with other countries involved, not just the united states because of the troubled history that we have with haiti. but i think the haitians themselves would probably accept some arrangement of that sort because without it i think recovery is going to be slow and painful and the country is really in a dismal condition. >> if you were back in your old job, national security adviser, would you start worrying after a few weeks that this problem, this crisis was sucking up a lot
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of time, energy and attention of the government, which had to be focused on iraq, afghanistan, yemen, somalia, broader issues of relations with china, russia, india? >> oh, absolutely. and this is why if i were the national security adviser i would say to the president, delegate the problem in haiti to a single coordinator. someone presumably with a military connection or a military status and with experience in large-scale, major emergency undertakings. so, when you look at haiti, you are also a political scientist, a scholar of comparative history. this is one of the most desperate countries in the world. is it conceivable that after a body blow like this you will be able to transition to something, something, some stable, meaningful political order that will endure?
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>> haiti has one very important resource, which, unfortunately, has been underutilized but it's a important resource. human capital. it's remarkable the way the haitian communities perform in america and there have been some studies of that and they show that the haitian communities given the right opportunity thrive and are very dynamic and very creative. and they have actually a kind of a tradition of self-development, which is rather impressive. i think if the framework for that country could be somewhat improved through international assistance through some transitional arrangements which permit some u.n. supervision, i think the human capital in haiti could have to recover and to overcome the kind of obstacles and tragedies that the haitian
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people have had inflicted upon them, either by nature or by poor, oppressive, corrupt governments. but that would require this international effort under some sort of the u.n. flag because as you rightly said, it shouldn't be viewed as colonelism and it could appear to be colonelism to many haitians if we're crude about it and especially if it's only us who do it. we ought to be the major party in that effort because most of the resources probably will have to come from us, but as you said, there is brazil and other countries in the area that would be involved. the french have a moral obligation, a cultural link. they could be more involved. so, once we let the human capital sort of assert itself, i think haiti could be quite attractive caribbean country. >> what lesson do you draw that you look at haiti and then look across the border to the dominican republic and the dominican republic is doing very
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well for a third world country and it's peaceful and it's stable and how could these two countries have such different paths? >> well, they've had, to some extent, different political experiences and the haitians just had bad luck with some particular leaders and then there was this even very specific phenomenon of deforestation in haiti in which the dominicans wisely did not emulate and that did damage the base in haiti. >> you know people who make broader claims brett stevens for "the wall street journal" says you look at haiti and the worst case against foreign aid and you can pour all this money into countries like haty and really nothing ever changes. why try it one more time? >> i think that is a dangerous argument because it sort of
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suggests unintentionally a kind of human fault among the haitians, which i certainly don't see. and in the country as i see the haitians themselves, i see something quite different. i think it has much more to do with the historical sxakts the framework and then some fundamental social economic such as the deforestation as the causes, the more important causes of the periodic failures of haiti. last but not least, perhaps by our own termination, periodic termination of the country, which wasn't always driven by the most humanitarian motives. >> so, you have some, you hold out some hope for haiti in the medium term? >> well, the people. i think the people themselves right now are too traumatized, have been so badly governed and are in such a state of shock that they really do need immediate external and i would like to see coordinated american effort that takes some chances,
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even, in the way it operates. drops food or supplies in places which are needed. creates sort of military-controlled zones in which things are simply deployed from air and distributed even very dramatically by hand and things of this sort because people are dying every single day. but beyond that, as we talked, some form of international arrangement of a transitional character to accelerate the recovery of the country on a more ambitious basis. >> always a pleasure to have you on. thank you so much. >> it's good to be with you, fareed. you are on a very good show which raises the right kind of issues. >> thank you, sir. we will be right back. >> i think we live in a time of collapsed and collapsing institutions. i think people have less faith in the great institutions that in jfk's day and eisenhower's
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preferred package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose your service, choose your savings. like an oil change for just $19.95. meineke. so, at the top of the program i gave you my analysis of where president obama went wrong in his first year. now, i want to offer some other points of view, some from a group of people who have studied presidents and politics closely for many years. let me put it this way, if i were barack obama i would ask their opinions. joining me now robert carroll, the two-time pulitzer prize winner and biographies on lyndon johnson.
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peggy newnan "wall street journal" columnist who wrote ronald reagan's speeches and five best-selling books. and the author of some great biographies. among them about benjamin franklin and henry kissinger and sam tanenhaus author of a terrific new book "the death of conservatism." still surprisingly relevant. welcome to all of you. let me first begin with the poll numbers. one year into his presidency. i was looking at historical polls and he's roughly where reagan was, a little bit ahead of, actually, of clinton and behind both bushes 41 because of the collapse of the soviet union and 43 because of 9/11. i was struck by something else that i want to ask you guys about. they're all lower than eisenhower and kennedy who were in the high 60s, low 70s. is that about watergate and is
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that about the media and a different partisan climate or were eisenhower and kennedy kind of exceptional bipartisan moment in american history? >> i do think the poisonous atmosphere and everything helps to tear down a person's ratings and, you know a year ago on this show i must admit peggy and i were together and peggy was making the argument that he's biting off far too much and you can't do all these things. they did overreach and they did bite off more than they could chew. >> i think we live in a time of collapsed and collapsing institutions. i think people have less faith in the great institutions than in jfk's days and eisenhower's day they had faith in. journalism, government, the church. so, all of that has changed. i think the obama, one of the obama administration mistakes has been to not understand they were governing and taking power
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in a time of collapsed institutions and a time when people were not trusting the government. when you knxwoknow that people leery and you try to do huge things that we discussed a time back and also controversial things and don't have a lot of built-in support, you're looking for trouble. they looked for trouble. they got trouble. >> but part of it is also, did they misread the ideological moment? >> the presidency has really been delegitimized. look back over the last three presidents. bill clinton was declared especially illegitimate by powerful figures in the house, including dick armey because it got 43% of the vote. the same percentage nixon adopted in '68. george w. bush was considered illegitimate by many on the left because of the florida recount. barack obama is now patrimony and native origin are being
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questioned. we do not regard the presidency the way we once did and i think president obama suffers for that. one other point, i was looking at a very interesting piece, george packer wrote in "the new yorker" right after the election and he said president obama built a movement to get himself elected, but he didn't build one to govern. and that may have been a miscalculati miscalculation. i think this is what we are talking about. not necessarily an ideological basis. >> he campaigned as a presidential figure, but he governed, particularly in the last six months, more as a prime minister. slicing and dicing the legislative process and accepting, which was something -- >> acting almost like a prime minister and he hasn't, i mean, there are those of us who thought that he was going to be a great consensus builder and this would have restored the strength of the presidency. he was perfectly placed to do that. and i think the pivot point came in august when not only did you
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have the tea party rebellion out there, but you also had the decision made in the white house at the exact time to go for their own democratic health care bill instead of continuing to try to fight for a consensus bill. >> can i say, i think one of the big headlines on obama's first year is that part of what we're referring to is he lost the center. he lost independence. when he came in in 2008, obama, he had the votes of the independents of america. they voted like democrats. only a year and a half later, 2010, they are voting like republicans in massachusetts and new jersey in virginia. you cannot, when you are a modern president, in this ferocious political environment hold on to anything but the center if you want to prosper. you know, that's where it is. that's where it is at politically. the suburbs is where it is at and they are departing him. i think it didn't start in august, i think it started
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earlier when the president decided that the meaning of his first year would be domestically, domestically would be health care. it was a mistake and he also decided and guess what, i'm going to take my personal popularity and stature and i'm going to give it to the unpopular ill thought of democratic congress. shouldn't have done that. >> i think that is -- you tell the story about james baker, you were telling me in the greens room. >> james baker working for ronald reagan he had a wonderfully sharp sense of the stature of his president, ronald reagan, and his popularity. and he knew that he didn't want his president to be mucking around with not, these are not his words, but those low lives. and unpopular and disliked small figures in the american congress. reagan would be kept -- >> by which he met the republicans and the american -- >> let's just say he meant those in congress. reagan was going to be kept
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apart and as a leader heightened and just apart. obama and his people mucked up obama with these congressional critters whom nobody in america likes. >> except that lyndon johnson did this and managed to do it well. why? he was the one president who was able to be both president and prime minister. >> i have been thinking all this week as we see how hard it is to get anything through congress and exactly a situation was lyndon johnson trying to pass the first civil rights bill since reconstruction in 1957. that was, at least as hard as this. the southerners controlled denying the 11 most powerful committees in congress. they said this bill is not going through. to watch johnson get it through, vote by vote, against the filibuster and then they said there were 96 senators. so, 34 and you could keep a filibuster going forever and the
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saying was, you get up to 34 real fast in the senate. to watch johnson strip those votes away from the south, one vote at a time, is just to watch, this is legislative genius. >> didn't he do that by working with republicans, as well, just as franklin roosevelt's transformational policies were done in a more bipartisan way? >> yes. but at the same time, he had the similarity to the republicans today was the southern democrats. they never worked. >> but both parties, well, both parties were more genius idelogically. >> you know, james mcgregor burns back in the 1950s, they actually formed the parties of america. the democrats and liberals and conservatives and congressional ones and you mixed and matched them. one of the consequences of this very powerful and important conservative movement we've seen
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is that in congress republicans are ideologiclogically unified. i was looking at something byrnes wrote about the goldwater election of 1964. he said the aim of these conservatives, they know they're going to lose this election, it is to get rid of the liberals. what they used to call me-to republicans. republicans in name only. to purify idelogically the party. they succeeded in that. what they did is to leave themselves with a party that is fairly uniform in its views so that even at the height of his popularity, barack obama couldn't get republican votes for the stimulus package. even then. >> but that's exactly the opposite of what is happening now, sam. purism took a hit in new jersey and virginia in massachusetts. people were practical, they voted on issues. they voted for republicans who are conservative economically
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but very nonsnarling who are not guys who you can look at and say, that is an idlog. i interviewed scott brown, the senator elect, i guess, from massachusetts two days ago. the first thing he did was compliment obama. something new is going on. it is a certain, it's a growing pragmatism among the tea party people who voted in virginia, new jersey and massachusetts for guys they were not 100% on the page for. >> what did lindsey graham say after the election on tuesday? he said if you're a conservative in a red state, don't think you don't have something to worry about. which seems so odd. >> meaning what? >> meaning that there is among the tea party group, i'm not convinced peggy is right about the tea partiers themselves. see, scott brown is an interesting case because his victory speech sounded much less obama's. this is a victory for the independent majority. he distanced himself from both parties and if you reconstruct
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the "times" had of how the election was run and look at the anxiety in colorado, florida, as well. there seems to be a strain, a tension building within the republican party, its elites and its grassroots base. >> that is going on for a while. new england just got teddy kennedy's seat just went to a republican. something is going on. >> we're talking only in terms of ideology. there is another level of government, which is getting something done. what we have seen here is a very practical thing. a president dealing with congress. now, we're in a democracy. we're talking, we're governed by loyalists. now, you take acts in the past that seem impossible to get through. i am sorry to keep mentioning lyndon johnson or the medicare thing. what is legislative genius? he wants to get the first civil rights bill through and the southerners or let it go to the next level if they can get a
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guarantee that they can filibuster and hold it up on a future level. johnson needs 10 or 12 votes that he can deliver to the south. he says what can i find? he finds the western democrats. what did they want? he says i have to find something that 12 senators want enough to go along with the south on this. and he finds helds canyon dam on the snake river which divideside hero oregon. they have been fighting for 20 years. the south, if i could get richard russell to agree to give them the canyon, the south will let the bill move forward to the next level. and he gets 12 votes. if we had seen a stroke of genius, what else is legislative genius? johnson is on the floor -- just let me finish. there's a moment where he's going to lose. about to be a vote called. he is about to lose. standing next to the senator
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from new mexico and he sees that anderson, a liberal is doodling on a paragraph and changing it around and says, that will work. introduce it, introduce it now and anderson says i can't introduce, i'm too liberal, he looks around and says get george aiken. aiken introduces it and the bill passes. we don't see legislative genius like that any more. >> i'm sorry -- >> no, that's a good point but one of the problems we've seen in the past few months is a little bit too much horse trading and cornhusker deals and my own state of louisiana deals. and i think the big difference between then and now the way history is going is the parties have become more ideological. back then when you were writing about the civil rights bill and you had very conservative southern democrats and very liberal kennedy democrats and now you've seen the ideological parting and this goes against
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what the founders of the country really hope would happen. a benjamin franklin was always saying compromises may not make great heroes but they make great democracies. we have to find the common ground. >> the real legislative genius, i think, obama reaching out to the republicans on health care and has he gone to john mccain and said your signature campaign proposal and the elimination of health care and if i would accept that, john, would you support? >> yeah. >> then you've transformed the debate. what he instead did was he only sought approval within the congressional democrats and then to get the last ten democrats, you're making very sorted compromises and making exceptions to five states and you're not giving them electricity. you're doing -- >> 3-d for glory. >> we'll have to take a break. we'll be right back. >> we have a yearning in this country that was symbolized and embodied in obama's election. a yearning for idealists and
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more than ideology and we're losing that now in the squabbling in congress.
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and we are back with our distinguished panel of experts,
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historians, scholars, pulleitze prize winners. let's talk about the ideological moment. you have written about and you just talked about it. i think part of what happened here is the end of the cold war produced a new ideological landscape and the people who matched it out best are bill clinton and tony blair. at the end of the day, if you veer like newt gingrich did, you get killed. if you veer too far to the left, you get killed. are we still in that world? >> i think the nominations of mccain and obama filled somewhat of a yearning of governing from the center and reach across the aisle because that is a way both have cast themselves in the primary and then i think there were a lot of factors that pulled that apart when churchill's party lost a 1945 election. one of his colleagues said it's a blessing in distinguish and maybe so but it's an incredibly good disguise.
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in some way this is a blessing in disguise because it says, no, you have to emulate the scott browns and the independents who are able to reach. >> except, bob, you would argue it is the giving up of great liberal ambitions and hopes. >> yes. i think we have the yearning in this country and it was si symbolized or embodied in obama's election, a yearning for idealism and more than ideology and we're losing that now in the squabbling in congress, which is why i guess returning to, gee, you have to have someone who knows how to get things done. he wants, i think obama has shown us that he wants his presidency to be truly transformational. some people would agree and in some ways this country needs to be transformed. >> where is it going to go? ronald reagan, same poll numbers.
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canon wrote a book he is not going to run for re-election because he's doing so badly. what should obama do? >> democrats are understandably desperate for parallels, how lovely they can point to 1982 and a personally popular american president who had a very rough mid-term election and a very rough political environment. i don't buy it as a parallel. many reasons, here's just one. one of obama's biggest problems in his first year is that his preoccupations were in this direction and the preoccupations of the american people were in this direction and they were not on the same page. the american people are thinking economy, foreign affairs, national security and he's doing health care cap and trade, stuff that these people thought was a little daffy to be concentrating on. the reason? one thing we haven't mentioned, the great recession helped shape everything this year. all right, reagan, on the other
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hand, in '82 was on the same page of the american people. he had two preoccupations, the economy, bad shape inherited a recession and the soviet union. he focused on them like a laser beam. obama didn't focus on the great issues of his moment. it is the great problem with his first year. >> you were covering national politics for "time" magazine. >> yes, exactly. i think to pick up on bob's point, he does want to be a transformational president. but you can't transform the country on purely partisan lies, i don't think. transformation has got to come the way lbj did it and when franklin roosevelt did it and every president since jackson did it. i think the country is best governed and transformed from the symptom. >> a future of conservativism, though, the point you make in your book is that even if -- i'm going to extrapulate. even though there is a
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political, you don't see an intellecially. the prominent and important exception of begging. >> it's interesting. a number of books about a possible republican and conservative revival published at the end of the obama years. i'm sorry "the ethe end of the years and michael gurshten wrote one. there was a major role for government to play. kind of accepting what seemed to be the shift in the intevitable interrelation between government and society. those ideas have not been picked up at all as far as i can tell by the movement on the right. back in the hay day -- >> the tea party is not about embracing government. >> gee, i think what you're talking about is a conservative
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intellectually acquiescence to reality. that was true in the '60s and '70s and '80s and ronald reagan didn't walk in and say, guess what, government is over. i am ending it. he live would the reality that he had. conservatism, we are living in a time, this will not change, when government is a player and a presence in american life. but if you approach that fact with conservative thoughts, you might just wind up governing a little better. >> brings up a great lesson of reagan, too. even though he was very, very firm in his convictions communist and for a smaller government, he's the one that most reached out to gorbachev and said, look, we'll use him. and then he reaches out to tip o'neill and helps transforms things with social security. >> this is working with -- this is working with reality, which
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you must do. >> exactly. working with reality and it's standing firm to your convictions but knowing where to find the common ground, whether it's with gorbachev or on the tax and the social security compromises that he and tip o'neill could do. >> we'll have to take a break. we'll be right back. >> on the health care bill, in particular, i think, frankly and in political terms, if he backs away from that, he will be lost because that is what people see in him.
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final word, what should obama do from your perspective? what should he do? >> i think that on the health care bill, in particular, he should go back and say we need a health care bill. whether he revisits and then starts over again that ideal should not be lost? i think, frankly, in political
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terms, if he backs away from that, he will be lost because that is what people see in him. what is his presidency going to be? you know, we haven't even talked about, you were talking aboutrationen and gorbachev. he has had such immense decisions. he came in in a huge economic kriss and came in with terrorist problem and he stretched military and a budget that was already, he had immense problems and you say where does he stand at the end of the first year? i think we'll look back at this point in three years and say, i hope we say, that, gee, he's risen up from this low point right here. >> we will not wait three years. we will reconvene this panel sooner than that. thank you, all, very much. we will be right back. >> they've sent us a message that they can take whatever they want. we will send them a message.
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hello, i'm fredricka whitfield at the cnn center in
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at lant raw. top stories we're following this morning. a chilling new audiotape from osama bin laden. the speaker claims responsibility for the christmas day attempt to blow up a northwest airlines flight en route to detroit. the recording also threatens more attacks on the u.s. and in haiti people are still holding out hope that other bodies, other people could be found alive. you're looking right now at images from yesterday of a 24-year-old man, a survivor after 11 days caught under the rubble. it's a long shot, but there are other cases just like this, but there are search and rescue teams on the ground in hopes that something like that could be repeated. and cnn's christiane amanpour will be live from port-au-prince next hour with a look at haiti's long-term survival. that's at the top of the hour. those are the headlines. fareed zakaria "gps" will return in a moment.
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and now, what got my attention this week was this. >> making way for this -- the first one, of course, "avatar,"
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the blockbuster james cameron movie that is expected to become the world's top grossing film of all time. i'm seeing it this weekend with my family. "avatar" has already made more money in china than any other film in history, according to its distributor, 20th century fox. but after just three weeks in theaters, china has decided to pull all the 2d copies of "avatar" off, leaving only a couple 3d and imax copies. only one in ten theaters in china is able to show these souped up versions of the film. chinese media says "avatar" is being pushed aside for a film the beijing government has a particular interest in, its own version of a big-budget blockbuster. this bio-pic about the ancient chinese philosopher, confucius. the film was partially paid for by the chinese government. beijing denies it has pulled
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"avatar" to make room for its own movie. they say it was a simple matter of economics, the 2d version of the film wasn't making money. despite china's denials, nobody disputes that china does restrict foreign films from entering its domestic market. only 20 foreign films are allowed to be shown in film each year. western business leaders do report that the chinese government now freely admits it wants to develop local champions and will not give western companies unfettered access to the chinese market. in the past, china needed the united states and the west in general as a source of capital, as a market for its exports, as a political ally, as a provider of technology and know-how. but it's possible that some chinese leaders have decided they don't need us anymore. the relationship has changed. now, any nation is free to act as it wishes, but i would suggest that maybe china's leaders might want to take a look at the new confucius film they paid for. one of the great chinese's
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sage's saying was a version of the golden rule. he said in his analex, never impose on others what you do not want done to yourself. and if the chinese turn away from the west and become insular and nationalistic, it might provoke a similar reaction here. and that won't be good for the world or for china. we will be right back. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that's not complicated. no. come on. how about... a handshake. alright. (announcer) priority mail flat rate boxes only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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now for our question of the week. last sunday, i asked, once the immediate crisis has passed, do you think the united states should spend large amounts of money and resources to rebuild haiti? how much can or should the u.s. do to rebuild a country with problems as deep as haiti's. most of our viewers said, yes, the u.s. must help, and almost all added, if america doesn't take the lead, who will?
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many, of course, cited humanitarian concerns, but others brought up security. andrea simpson of pasadena, california, said "given haiti's poverty and chaos, if we don't help, dictators and even jihadists may see an opportunity to move closer to our shores." michael kelly of homodell, new jersey, was one of the dissenters said simply, "what are we going to do? borrow more money from china to rebuild haiti. "there seems little doubt this was a message from voters. my question is, how should obama respond? should he move closer to the left, his core constituency, or toward his nemesis, the right? and of course, there's the center, the place from which bill clinton governed successfully. so should president obama move left, right, or center? let me know your shoutings. a reminder, i love reading your e-mails, but please include your
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name and location when you send them. as always, i would like to recommend a book. it's called "the death of conservatism" by sam tanenhaus, who you'll recall was on the program today. the tanenhaus premise compelling and not so easy to refute. today's conservative premise is dying because it's harshly ideological, very different from the grounded, philosophical movement of the past in which there were great thinkers like william f. buckley, irvine crystal. those were the people that personified the right. today rush limbaugh speaks for the movement. right now conservatism is a movement that serves as construction and recrimination that does not offer a thought out of ideas. and we have relaunched our foreign affairs quiz. test your knowledge by taking the fareed challenge. it's evere